abounding in pithy aphorisms or maxims: a sententious book.
given to excessive moralizing; self-righteous.
given to or using pithy sayings or maxims: a sententious poet.
of the nature of a maxim; pithy.

Origin of sententious

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin sententiōsus meaningful. See sentence, -ous
Related formssen·ten·tious·ly, adverbsen·ten·tious·ness, sen·ten·ti·os·i·ty [sen-ten-shee-os-i-tee] /sɛnˌtɛn ʃiˈɒs ɪ ti/, nounnon·sen·ten·tious, adjectivenon·sen·ten·tious·ly, adverbnon·sen·ten·tious·ness, nounun·sen·ten·tious, adjectiveun·sen·ten·tious·ly, adverbun·sen·ten·tious·ness, noun

Synonyms for sententious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sententious

Historical Examples of sententious

  • His language has the richness and sententious fullness of the Chinese.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • "Such do the most ill," Colonel John retorted, with sententious severity.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

  • "Grieved to hear it, Mr. Carew," was the grave, sententious reply.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

  • Its short, sententious sentences were altogether to his mind.

    The Golden Shoemaker

    J. W. Keyworth

  • "That's lucky," was the sententious comment of the old doctor.

British Dictionary definitions for sententious



characterized by or full of aphorisms, terse pithy sayings, or axioms
constantly using aphorisms, etc
tending to indulge in pompous moralizing
Derived Formssententiously, adverbsententiousness, noun

Word Origin for sententious

C15: from Latin sententiōsus full of meaning, from sententia; see sentence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sententious

mid-15c., "full of meaning," from Middle French sententieux, from Latin sententiosus "full of meaning, pithy," from sententia "thought; expression of a thought" (see sentence (n.)). Meaning "addicted to pompous moralizing" first recorded 1590s. Related: Sententiously; sententiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper